Nature and Other Forms of That Matter

23rd June at 18:00. Royal Hoolway University, 11 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3RF.

Poetry reading and artist’s film
David Herd * Carol Watts * Allen Fisher (film)
Room 0-02 * Free entry.

Full details here.


David Herd’s collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet, 2012), Outwith (Bookthug, 2012) and Through (Carcanet 2016). His recent writings on the politics of movement have appeared in Almost Island, Los Angeles Review of Books, Parallax, and PN Review. He is Professor of Modern Literature at the University of Kent and a co-organiser of the project Refugee Tales.

David will be reading from Through. Written between 2011 and 2015, the book is an inquiry into the language of public space and human movement. Five extended poems set out to address the ways contemporary public discourse has been rendered officially hostile. What does it mean, the book asks, to inhabit a language that frames itself in such a hostile manner? How, it asks, might users of the language begin to re-occupy the terms? Considering the cost of such official hostility to human intimacy, the poems set out explore possibilities of solidarity. The picture they aim to present is of a language on a knife-edge. How, in the present moment, do we hear the term ‘through’?

Carol Watts’ poetry includes: Dockfield (Equipage, 2017), 56 a collaboration with George Szirtes (Arc, 2016), Sundog (Veer Books, 2013), Occasionals (Reality Street Editions, 2011), Wrack (Reality Street Editions, 2007). Her chapbooks include the series When blue light falls (Oystercatcher, 2008, 2010, 2012), this is red (Torque Press, 2009) and the sonnet sequences Mother Blake (2012) and brass, running (Equipage, 2006). She is the head of the school of English at the University of Sussex.

Carol will be reading from a number of her books, including her most recent publication, Dockfield (Equipage, 2017) in response to ideas of nature, ecology, landscape and the anthropocene.

We will also be screening Allen Fisher’s 2017 film ‘Y Gors Ddu: The Black Bog’ (5 mins) in which he describes his recent working process on Black Ponds a new collection of paintings, facture and gathering of drawings, paintings, in situ performances and presentations on y Waen Ddu, the Black Bog – a rare raised peat bog situated in the Brecon Beacons. The project is supported and assisted by Arts Alive Wales and BBC Wales

Allen Fisher is a poet, painter and art historian. He has exhibited in many shows from Tate Britain to King’s Gallery York to Hereford Museum and Art Gallery. Examples of his work are in the Tate Collection, the King’s Archive London, the Living Museum, Iceland and various British and international private collections. His last single-artist show was at the Apple Store Gallery Hereford in 2013. He has over 150 single-author publications to his name. In 2016 new publications were: Imperfect Fit: Aesthetics, Facture & Perception from the University of Alabama, Gravity as a consequence of shape and a second edition of the collected PLACE from Reality Street Editions, and a reprint of Ideas of the culture dreamed of was published by The Literary Pocket Book.

This poetry reading and film showing is part of the project Nature and Other Forms of That Matter.

Will Montgomery: February Preview

Will graduated from Emmanuel College, Cambridge, with a degree in English in 1987. After a period outside academia, he took the Literature, Culture, Modernity MA at Queen Mary, University of London, receiving the Marjorie Thompson award for outstanding academic achievement in 1999. He remained at Queen Mary for his AHRB-funded PhD, which was devoted to the writing of contemporary American poet Susan Howe. He subsequently taught poetry, modernist literature and critical theory at Queen Mary and at Southampton University. In January 2007 he joined Royal Holloway as RCUK research fellow in contemporary poetry and poetics. He is director of the department’s Poetics Research Centre and a co-organizer of that group’s POLYply reading and performance series.

Recent publications include The Poetry of Susan Howe (Palgrave, 2010) and the essay collection Frank O’Hara Now (Liverpool UP, 2010), which he co-edited with Robert Hampson. He is currently working on a study of short form in modernist and contemporary US poetry, and co-editing an edited collection on field recordings and literature. Will also works with audio, making field recordings, sound art and music.

Follow this LINK to hear some of his sound work, including pieces with Other Room reader Carol Watts.

Vicki Bennett & Gregor Weichbrodt: February Preview

At our next event on February 17th Vicki Bennett & Gregor Weichbrodt’s collaborative written work The Fundamental Questions will be performed by members of the audience. Bennett & Weichbrodt won’t be present on the night but we’ve put together a couple of tasters to show where they’re coming from and it’s a good good place. The Fundamental Questions is available either as a pdf download – HERE or as a print book – HERE 

You have 7 days left to listen to BBC Radio 3’s The Late Junction featuring Bennett’s main project People Like Us  – HERE. People Like Us is at

We’ve featured Weichbrodt’s Google translation of Kerouac’s On the Road on our blog before. Check that out and other great things at

As usual the event is at the magnificent Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, Manchester. See the flier in the middle column for further details. Our other performers are Will Montgomery and Mark Leahy.

Mark Leahy: February event preview

Mark Leahy will perform ‘his voice’ at our next event on February 17th. As usual the event is at the magnificent Castle Hotel on Oldham Street, Manchester. See the flier in the middle column for further details. Our other performers are Will Montgomery and Vicki Bennett & Gregor Weichbrodt. Bennett & Weichbrodt won’t be present on the night, instead their work will be performed by members of the audience.

Here is part of a description of ‘his voice’ from Mark Leahy’s excellent website:

“A body of text gathered via online searches for “his voice sounded like” was edited to develop two- or three-word phrases. These phrases were then used to search Twitter. In the live event the outcome of this search process is converted to audio using text-to-speech software. This audio is delivered via headphones to the performer who attempts to speak it to the audience.”

Read more about this project and the many others that Mark has been involved in – HERE

POLYproject 7: Text.Score.

POLYproject 7: Text.Score.

Angharad Davies

Redell Olsen

Rhodri Davies

Will Montgomery

Realisations of scores by Davies, Olsen and Davies.

12 October, 7.30pm, free entry.

The Cello Factory, Cornwall Street, London SE1 8TJ (nearest tubes Waterloo, Southwark).

Presented by the Poetics Research Centre, Royal Holloway, University of London.